Sport Kevin Durant takes a shot during a practice session in Manchester

“I’ve been second all my life. I’m tired of being second. I am done with it”

LeBron James with the series Most Valuable Player Award

Basketball: James hype justified after 'The Chosen One' finally delivers

It's taken 10 years and many a bruise to his reputation and self-esteem, but LeBron James at last stands at the pinnacle of professional basketball, after leading the Miami Heat to the 2012 NBA championship – the one prize whose absence had prevented his recognition as the finest in his sport.

LeBron James named MVP after Miami Heat triumph over Oklahoma City Thunder to win NBA finals

LeBron James was named series MVP after guiding the Miami Heat to a 4-1 triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder - and claimed the accolade was just reward for two tough years.

Michael Jordan, arguably, the best player in NBA history

Basketball: Jordan's rare taste of failure

Michael Jordan is, arguably, the best player in NBA history. Now he is indisputably the owner of the worst team in NBA history.

Basketball: Neutered Cats close on record

Charlotte Bobcats have six games left to avoid the terrible distinction of becoming the worst team in NBA history.

Chicago Bulls' forward Luol Deng has agreed to play in Britain's Olympic team

Basketball: NBA stars commit to GB Olympic team

Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng is one of three NBA players who have agreed to play in Britain's Olympic team.

Putin may offer his rival candidate Mikhail Prokhorov a position in his government

Was Putin's presidential 'rival' really an undercover ally all along?

Vladimir Putin suggested yesterday that when he returns to the Kremlin in May he may offer the oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov a position in his government.

Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls wears a t-shirt with the likeness of Africa during player introductions for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game

Basketball: T-shirt stunt may cost Deng dear

Great Britain's Luol Deng said he was happy to risk an NBA fine for wearing a T-shirt honouring Africa during the pre-match introductions at the All-Star Game on Sunday.

Luol Deng drives for a shot attempt

Basketball: Great Britain's Luol Deng could face fine after All-Star game

Great Britain's Luol Deng was happy to risk an NBA fine after wearing a T-shirt honouring Africa during the pre-game introductions at the All-Star game.

Chicago Bulls' forward Luol Deng will be the first Briton to play in an All-Stars game tonight

Basketball: Brixton's Deng now joins the All-Stars in Orlando

From Sudan to Chicago, the former Topcat is mixing it with America's big boys

Jeremy Lin scored 136 points in his first five career starts, an NBA record

Basketball: The incredible story of Jeremy Lin, the new superstar of the NBA

The NBA has gone Lin-sane.

Jump to the top: Jeremy Lin scores against Toronto. The game capped an unbelievable five-game streak for the rookie

Basketball: Linsanity! Unfancied Harvard graduate is talk of NBA

Will Dean witnesses the birth of a star

Luol Deng pictured in action for the Bulls

NBA: Luol Deng becomes first Briton to be selected for All-Star Game

Luol Deng has become the first British player to be selected for the NBA All-Star Game.

Scottish Labour Party accepts it must change

The Scottish Labour Party has agreed to sweeping changes months after a disastrous showing in the Holyrood election.

Slump in US confidence brings fears of new recession

Confidence among US consumers has unexpectedly dropped to its lowest level in two-and-a-half years, reigniting fears that the economy could fall back into recession despite recent reassuring data on jobs and manufacturing.

Salmond opens door for 'third way' to keep independent Scotland within UK

The SNP leader introduces 'Devolution Max' option, but leaves Westminster in no doubt that Scots will decide their destiny

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own